Jordan R. Fischbach

Codirector, RAND Water and Climate Resilience Center; Policy Researcher; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.Phil in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; B.A. in history, Columbia University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

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Jordan Fischbach is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, codirector of the Water and Climate Resilience Center, and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. He is a leader in climate adaptation, water resources management, and coastal planning.

Fischbach has expertise in risk analysis, exploratory simulation modeling, and Robust Decision Making, a method designed to better manage deep uncertainty and develop robust and adaptive plans through quantitative scenario analysis. He works with government agencies to better incorporate deep uncertainty into their long-term climate and coastal adaptation planning efforts.

He is currently leading the storm surge and flood damage assessment for the State of Louisiana's 2017 Coastal Master Plan, and is the principal investigator in charge of developing RAND's Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment (CLARA) model. He is also co-leading a project to develop an integrated strategic plan for coastal investment in Jamaica Bay, Queens after Hurricane Sandy. This effort, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, is conducted as part of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay on behalf of a council of interested federal, state, and local public agencies.

Fischbach was awarded a President's Choice award at RAND in 2012. He earned a B.A. in history from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, where he was awarded the Herbert Goldhamer Memorial Award.

Recent Projects

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (MARISA) Center
  • Developing the City of Pittsburgh's Resilience Strategy
  • Resilient Stormwater Management in Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Region
  • Integrated Analysis and Planning to Reduce Coastal Risk, Improve Water Quality, and Restore Ecosystems in Jamaica Bay, New York
  • Applying the Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment (CLARA) Model to Support Louisiana Coastal Planning

Honors & Awards

  • President's Choice Award, RAND Corporation
  • Merit Bonus Award (Silver), RAND Corporation
  • Herbert Goldhamer Memorial Award, Pardee RAND Graduate School


  • Environmentalists hold a banner which reads in part, "For the Climate," near the Eiffel Tower during the World Climate Change Conference 2015

    COP21: Ambition and Momentum

    Negotiators in Paris achieved a historic breakthrough by adopting a fundamentally different, and likely more effective, institutional framework to address climate change. It builds on two concepts missing from past attempts to forge a global treaty: voluntary participation and adaptive policymaking.

    Dec 17, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • Flood waters from Hurricane Isaac partially submerge homes in Lafitte, Louisiana neighborhoods in August 2012

    Future of Coastal Flooding

    President Obama's executive order that directs federal agencies to plan and build for higher flood levels as they construct new projects in flood-prone regions will affect hundreds of billions of dollars of future public works projects. In an ideal world, planners would estimate the benefits and costs for each project, taking into account everything from the details of the local landscape to the potential for adaptive responses over time.

    Feb 25, 2015 The Hill

  • In Brief: Jordan R. Fischbach on Adapting to Climate Change on the Coast

    Jordan Fischbach discusses how RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan and key lessons that can make other communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters.

    Feb 6, 2013

  • Navajo Bridge over Colorado River

    New Colorado River Basin Study Examines Tremendous Challenges of the Coming 50 Years

    Growing water needs combined with uncertain but possibly deteriorating future hydrologic conditions could stress the Colorado River system in the coming 50 years.

    Dec 18, 2012

  • Morris Canal Park in New York City with portions flooded by Sandy's storm surge, at high tide.

    What Louisiana Can Teach New York and New Jersey

    The massive damage and disruption caused by “Super Storm” Sandy has created a rare moment when New York City, New Jersey and surrounding areas are singularly focused on the infrastructure they need in a changing environment – not just the infrastructure they already have thanks to the vision and investments of past generations.

    Nov 8, 2012 CNN

  • Aerial photos of New Jersey coastline in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

    In Wake of Hurricane Sandy, Look to Louisiana for Lessons

    Just as public agencies across the country conducted terrorism risk assessments in the wake of 9/11, a comprehensive infrastructure assessment may be in order to understand natural hazard risks and the potential exacerbating effects of climate change, write Gary Cecchine, David Groves, and Jordan Fischbach.

    Nov 1, 2012

  • USACE New Orleans District Mississippi River Tie-In

    Has the Gulf Coast Learned Katrina's Lessons in Time for Isaac?

    Seven years after Hurricane Katrina, it's clear that New Orleans and other cities along the Gulf Coast are applying what they learned then in preparation for Hurricane Isaac, write Gary Cecchine and Jordan R. Fischbach.

    Aug 29, 2012 U.S. News & World Report